Daily US Times: The new White House press secretary conducted her first press briefing on Friday, where she promised she will ‘never lie’. But in the same first briefing, she did mislead in an answer about fired national security adviser Michael Flynn.
McEnany told reporters, “I will never lie to you. You have my word on that,” vowing to hold more regular briefings.
But when it comes to a recently publicized handwritten note from Bill Priestap, the then-counterintelligence director at the FBI, who wrote asking about how agents should approach a critical interview with former national security adviser Michael Flynn, she appears to have misled reporters.
The former national security adviser is currently trying to withdraw his 2017 guilty plea for lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian official.
“‘we need to get Flynn to lie'” and get him fired, McEnany said the note says.
But actually, the note does not say “We need to get Flynn to lie,” but it asks what the goals of the interview are. Priestap wrote: “What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
The note adds: “If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.”
President Donald Trump tweeted in 2007 that he had to fire Flynn because he “lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies.”
The press secretary on Friday called the actions of the FBI a “grave miscarriage of justice.”
Mr Trump had also piled on the FBI on Thursday, saying: “What they tried to do to destroy him, and to hurt this presidency was perhaps in our country’s history, there is never been anything like it. An absolute disgrace.”
McEnany said that she plans to “continue” press briefings but did not make any commitment to conduct it daily. She said that the timing of the briefings will be announced at a later time.
She said: “As for the timing of the briefings, we do plan to do them.”
There had not been a press briefing led by a White House press secretary in 417 days, until McEnany’s Friday afternoon appearance. This is an unprecedented break from the custom of administrations in the modern era, making it the longest stretch without such a briefing during any presidential administration since televised briefings began.